Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

There is a very large sum of money at the moment annually accruing from endowments for Education outside the University, with which alone we are here concerned. Part of it is usefully employed, part of it is not. Trusts are maintained for the administration of small amounts, how many it would be difficult to say.1 Each trust does its best to carry out its objects, but sometimes this is not an easy matter. There is no method at present available by which the efforts of the trust, and say the School Board, can be generally correlated. Reorganisation must provide some such means. That is the general principle.

The special means to be employed in individual cases will evidently give rise to difference of opinion and debate. The heroic method would be to sweep away at one stroke all educational trusts and endowed governors, and to hand over their funds to the new public governing bodies in their respective districts to be administered by them in terms of the old schemes, either without modification or with certain additional powers of a specific character. This might be resented as an extreme measure, and the proposal, if actually made in a Bill brought before Parliament, would probably defeat its own object. It is not so much wrong as it is premature. That is the goal we wish to reach, but we are uncertain whether it is, under present circumstances, practicable. Special governors, at any rate in the case of an institution, possibly fulfil better the objects of the trust than a popularly elected body would. They have a special interest and pride in it, they are inspired by its traditions, they represent corporations, they are most in sympathy with the founders' objects. Then, again, a new public body will have many things to attend to, its attention will be fully occupied during the first years without meddling with endowments. Any enactment on the subject should, therefore, be of a permissive and not of a compulsory character at first. There may be cases where the latter would be justifiable, the natural and expedient course. But the discretion of the interested bodies may be trusted. It would be sufficient to give powers whereby Endowed Educational Trusts, of whatever kind, might divest themselves of their powers, duties and responsibilities, and hand them over to the public Educational authority, the funds being still ear-marked for their original purpose.

1 Lord Balfour's Commission issued 379 schemes dealing with 821 endowments; as the total amount was about £200,000 (annually), that would give an average of less than ±250 for each. This is another proof of the vast number of educational administrators and the urgent need of a great reduction in their number.

While this might be sufficient with trusts administering funds, whether for maintenance or education of scholars, for bursaries or scholarships , or for grants to schools or teachers, something further would require to be done in the case of endowed institutions. Meantime more effective representation might be on them to the new Local Authority for Education than has been possessed by the School Board, say three or four members nominated by the authority as assessors to the endowed governors. But eventually the conditions would be the exact converse of this ; the educational authority would take over the management of the endowed institution, receiving for a time an accession to its membership of three or four representatives of the original governors. These are only suggestions, and better methods may perhaps be devised of giving effect to the general principle, which is that the popular governing body should be fully cognisant of all educational matters and educational policy within its area, and should be able to exercise its influence therein; while in the fulness of the time when everything was ripe for it, it should itself assume full administrative powers throughout the whole range of Education outside the University. Of course, as soon as the endowed institution came under public management, it would have the same right as other institutions to draw upon rates and other public sources of revenue. Proprietary and Private Schools of approved efficiency, if they so desired, might be treated in the same way as endowed institutions.

The reorganisation of an educational system, if it is to be comprehensive and to answer the purposes required of it, must inter multa alia provide (a) representation of teachers; (b) representation of Universities; (c) eventual absorption of educational endowments.

CHAPTER VII.

THE NEW EDUCATIONAL AUTHORITY.

Having now discussed the conditions we are in a position to indicate more precisely the nature and constitution of the new educational authority. Before, however, venturing to state my conclusions on the subject, I should like to set down some of the leading principles that have appeared in our discussion or that seem to be applicable to educational reform.

The first principle is efficiency. Unless this is secured change has hardly justified itself. The best supply of administrative talent must be secured, the fullest expert knowledge of educational and related matters. Every other consideration must yield to efficiency.

The second principle is, the system must be popular: by which is meant that it must be

a system managed by the people, for the people, 12 * 179

« AnteriorContinuar »